News Bites: Sarto Reopens in Providence / Blackstone Valley Culinary News / Finback Brewery Whale Watching Festival

by David Dadekian

Current news releases—Eat Drink RI is not the source for these items—please follow any links for more information.

Sarto Restaurant Opens With A Unique Approach To Italian Food In Providence

Sarto Restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island

One of Providence’s most celebrated restaurants, Sarto, located at 86 Dorrance St., has reopened. Winner of Wine Spectator’s 2021 Restaurant Award which honors the world’s best wine lists, Sarto is celebrating its long- awaited re-opening since closing due to COVID with a brand-new menu and a fresh take on “authentic” Italian. 

“In keeping with Italy’s authentic, old-world culinary traditions, we tried to approach our menu the same way an Italian chef opening a restaurant here in the US might,” states Sarto, Culinary Director, Gary Hatfield. 

“Sarto’s menu features dishes composed of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, that honor our region – but with a modern twist. 

Patrons can order a mix of regional Italian and New England inspired favorites like Zuppa di Vongole (clam soup) with sweet/spicy Italian sausage, potatoes, clams, baby kale, a touch of cream and served with house made focaccia bruschetta. For seafood lovers there is smoked mussel Cacio e Pepe made with local Atwells Gold Cheese and Cozze Al Diablo (locally sourced spicy mussels). Ragu d Coda di bue (Ragu of oxtail) which combines the rich flavor of braised oxtail and Italian sausage and 30-day aged bone in Ribeye served with Narragansett Bay Sea Salt broccolini, marble potatoes and Saba-Beef Jus are available for those seeking more substantial entrées. 

The dinner menu isn’t the only aspect of Sarto that is legendary. The space, which features an expansive bar, once housed an apothecary, money-to-loan business and later the Philip Wolfe Haberdasher, which inspired the name Sarto or tailor in Italian. There is also an open kitchen concept where patrons can enjoy the culinary team prepare Sarto’s menu items from scratch. 

In a whimsical nod to the restaurant’s roots, the drink menu features Big and Tall or higher alcohol drinks with bold flavors, Light and Layered drinks with lower alcohol and Petite non-alcoholic options. Beer and cider aficionados can enjoy High Limb Noble Series cider and other local draft brews.

“We’re thrilled to open our doors to new and loyal patrons again,” said Karsten Hart, COO for Sarto and parent company, G Hospitality. “We’ve been working hard during the pandemic to continue sourcing local foods and various ingredients to bring our guests the most innovative, delicious tasting dishes in the area,” he said.

Sarto Restaurant is open for dinner Wednesday – Sunday from 4pm-midnight. For more information, please call 401-270-0790 or visit

Blackstone Valley Culinary News – April 26, 2022

Miller’s Tavern
48 School Street, Albion, RI  02802

Miller’s Tavern is open!  Stop in and welcome them to the Blackstone Valley.  Check out their menu:   Menu – page 1    Menu – page 2

3 Dexter Street, Cumberland  02864

New Name!  Blackstone Herbs and Coffee at 3 Dexter Street (corner of Broad Street) in Cumberland is now Apothica.  Same great staff, friendly service and coffees, other beverages, herb shop, breakfast, lunch and dessert options – and 100% Vegan…just a new name that more accurately reflects what they offer.  Stop in and see what everyone has been talking about!

The Wright Scoop
Wright’s Dairy Farm & Bakery
200 Woonsocket Hill Road, North Smithfield, RI  02896

We’re all screaming for ice cream!   The Wright Scoop opens for the season on Thursday, May 5!   May hours in North Smithfield will be Thursdays and Fridays from 1 to 9 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 9 pm.  Here are a few “sneak peeks” of the flavors they will be offering:   Sneak Peek #1.    Sneak Peek #2.  

Rhode Island Spirits
59 Blackstone Avenue, Pawtucket  02860

There is always something happening at Rhode Island Spirits!  Here is the event line-up through May:  

Friday, April 29, 6-8 pm – Cheese and Cocktail Pairing.  Enjoy a flight of three cocktails and cheeses (from Edgewood Cheese Shop) that pair with them.  Tickets

Sunday, May 8, 1 to 5 pm – Mother’s Day Cocktails and Allie’s Donuts.  Bring mom for some donuts and a Boozy Coffee, Bloody Mary or a Mimosa. 

Friday, May 20, 6-7:30 pm – Distillery Trivia.  Get your team together!  Join RI Spirit’s first Trivia event to compete for a prize – a bottle of your choice or a $25 gift certificate!

Sunday, May 22, 1-6 pm – Game Day.  There will be all kinds of games available to play or you can bring your own group and own game to play while enjoying your favorite cocktail.  

Thursday, May 26, 6-8 pm – RI Spirits will host the next program in RI Historical Society’s “Drink in the History” event.  There will be a presentation by the founder of the Providence Jewelry Museum, Peter DiChristofaro, who will offer insights into Rhodium’s namesake.  There will be original pieces of jewelry on display.  Guests will be treated to a mini-flight of their craft-made liquor and a Tom Collins cocktail.  Light, local culinary fare will also be available.  Tickets

Friday, May 27, 6-8 pm – Distillery Bingo.  It’s free to join in, but come early to guarantee yourself a table!  Bingo cards and daubers will be provided and prizes will include merchandise, free cocktails, bottles of your favorite spirits and more!

280 George Washington Hwy., Smithfield, RI  02917

Have you always wanted to know about eating gluten-free?  Now is your chance to learn from the best at blackie’s!  The team at blackie’s will be hosting a gluten-free gathering as Chef Angie will serve tastings from blackie’s new spring/summer menu.  It’s on Wednesday, May 4 at 6 p.m.  Limited tickets are available, so don’t wait:  Tickets to b. g-free

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8.  Take Mom out to one of our great Blackstone Valley restaurants!  Here are a few suggestions:   

Andrew’s Bistro
3755 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI  02864

They’ll be serving their full menu plus specials for Mother’s Day from 12 noon to 4 pm.  Call the number above for your reservations.   

Mapleville Farm
544 Victory Highway, Mapleville, RI  02839

Mapleville Farm is hosting their Mother’s Day Tea and Garden Luncheon again this year.  You’ll enjoy elegant sandwiches, soup and salads along with delicious fresh scones and pastries and homemade jams.  Of course, there will be tea and it will all be served in a setting surrounded by beautiful flowersMENU There will be two seatings on Mother’s Day – 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.   Call them or go online to make your reservations before they sell out!   

Finback Brewery Announces Whale Watching On May 21, 2022

Inaugural festival to feature over 50 acclaimed breweries, timed “Whale Sightings” releases of rare beers, VIP-exclusive stouts, access to new merch, and more

Finback Brewery Whale Watching Festival 2022

Finback Brewery is pleased to announce the inaugural Whale Watching festival on Saturday, May 21 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Tickets are now available for purchase at the link here:

Finback’s highly anticipated entry into the world of beer festivals is more than two years in the making. The event was originally slated for the spring of 2020, but it had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were certainly disappointed that we did not get a chance to host our very first Whale Watching festival two years ago, but it gave us time to really think about how to offer a unique and engaging experience for our guests when it was finally safe to gather,” says co-founder Basil Lee. “We are thrilled to have some of the best breweries in the country participate, and look forward to throwing a well-run and successful event for the beer community, who have shown us tremendous support through everything.”

Whale Watching attendees can enjoy delicious beers from a roster of over 50 acclaimed and exciting brewers from around the country, many of which have never been offered in the Ocean State before, including 3 Sons Brewing Co. in Dania Beach, Florida; Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn, New York; 450 North Brewing Company in Columbus, Indiana; Great Notion Brewing in Portland, Oregon; Horus Aged Ales in Oceanside, California; and Burial Beer Asheville, North Carolina. Many of these producers will be in person to serve their works, offering guests an opportunity to socialize with some of the industry’s most innovative and creative minds. Entertainment from DJ Chris Maestro of New York City’s popular beer and vinyl bar, Bierwax, and a selection of Rhode Island-based food vendors such as Ming’s Asian Street FoodPVDonuts, and TrapBoxPVD will also be available.

In a playful nod to the world of elusive, limited-edition beers, Finback will tap select breweries to release super small quantities of rare brews at specific times throughout the afternoon, billing them as Whale Sightings. There will be no need for a pair of binoculars to catch a glimpse of these special drops, promises Kevin Stafford, co-founder and brewmaster: “Just keep your eyes on the clock and have an empty glass ready.”

As the festival date nears, Finback plans to partner with several Rhode Island counterparts, including Narragansett and Long Live Beerworks, on collaboration beers. Finback is headquartered in New York, with locations in Glendale, Queens, and Gowanus, Brooklyn, but both Lee and Stafford are originally from the New England region—the former being a native of Rhode Island. “It is deeply important to us to host Whale Watching in our hometown, a place that is so influential in our personal stories as well as the brewery story,” Lee says. “We hope to start a rich tradition with this festival that beer fans can look forward to for years to come.”

Whale Watching will take place outdoors at 249 Roosevelt Avenue, overlooking the Blackstone River, and run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets cost $80 for General Admission and $180 for All Access, which includes early entry at 12:30 p.m., a special stemmed taster glass, and bottles of two limited-edition, barrel-aged imperial stouts created specifically for the event:

  • Whale Watching 2022: Banana Pie: Imperial stout with banana, vanilla, pudding, and ladyfingers, and aged in bourbon barrels
  • Whale Watching 2022: Coffee: Imperial stout with coffee syrup, coconut, caramel, and sea salt, and aged in bourbon barrels

For more information, please visit or follow us on Instagram (@finbackbrewery), Twitter (@finbackbrewery), and Facebook (

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